Support Wellbeing

Getting the help you need from the university’s Disability Advisory and Support Service (DASS)

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The University of Manchester’s Disability Advisory and Support Service (DASS) supports students by providing practical support for studies, work and placements and your entire university experience. Disabled students make up over 19% of University of Manchester students and the service that DASS supplies is paramount in supporting said students. It affords every single person the chance to succeed, thrive and be protected during their time at university.

I speak from experience and endurance when I say, university is a life-changing, challenging and very unique experience. It’s crucial that everybody goes through the motions of everyday university life with equal opportunities and accessibility. If you have a disability, a mental illness, a long-term illness or are neurodivergent in any way, you can access this support. Most people set up this support before starting their first year. However, being disabled is not always as straight forward as this. Many people set up their support at any given point during their university experience. For example, I sought the help I needed during my placement year (my third year of university). The point is, no matter when you seek this support, you are always able to receive it.

The University of Manchester has measures in place to ensure that students can access this help as and when they need it. These measures are things such as extra time in exams, breaks during exams and allocated DASS study sections in the library. These practical factors are put into place to allow neurodivergent people or people struggling with long-term illness to have the same opportunities as everybody else.

During your time at university, you can also claim financial support from the DSA (Disabled Students Allowance) via Student Finance. This support covers the costs of study equipment such as noise-cancelling headphones, computer monitors and accessibility software which is set up on your own computer or a computer which Student Finance may buy for you. The DSA also works with the university to prioritise disabled students for counselling and study/support sessions. As I and other students will agree, any support or assistance you can get from your university should be embraced with open arms. Take all the help you can get!

Seeking help and support when you need it is the best thing you can do for yourself. If you’ve ever felt lost or overwhelmed at university, you are not alone. However, these feelings should never be debilitating or life-threatening. If you are experiencing such ordeals, then please speak to a friend, a family member and/or the university. The university’s 24/7 helplines can be found here:

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